Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)

When is Medicare Annual Enrollment?

Each year, between October 15 and December 7, Medicare provides an opportunity to sign up or change plans during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). Other names are Medicare Fall Open Enrollment and the Annual Election Period.

During Annual Enrollment, you can change your health insurance to something that provides more coverage or costs less. Your existing plan might have made some changes since you got it. It's worthwhile to explore plans each year. You might find one with more benefits like dental, vision, hearing services, and prescription drug coverage. Also, you may discover lower cost policies if you shop around.

However, if you like your plan, you do not need to do anything during AEP. It automatically renews if you take no action.

Tips for Making the Most of your Annual Enrollment Period

Look for your Medicare Annual Notice of Change

Medicare beneficiaries receive an Annual Notice of Change in September that lists changes in coverage, network area, and prices. It provides you with a reference when evaluating your Medicare coverage.

Consider Prescription Drug Coverage (Plan D)

If you do not currently take prescription medications, you might need them in the future. If you wait to get Plan D when you need it, you cannot enroll in it until the Annual Enrollment Period. This could cost you thousands of dollars paying for drugs out-of-pocket and late fees.

Don't Get the Same Plans As Your Friends or Family Members

One size does not fit all. That's why there are so many different plans. Each person has different health challenges, budgets, and needs. What works well for your friend might be catastrophic for you. Shop around and compare plans that control out-of-pocket costs.

Make Sure Your New Plan Includes Your Doctors

A new plan might offer more benefits or lower costs, but if it does not include your doctor, you have a problem. Make sure your doctor is part of your new plan's network.

Watch Out for Medicare Scammers

Medicare fraud is rampant, and Medicare scammers are persuasive when speaking with seniors. They will trick, threaten, or tempt you.

Protect your personal information, like Social Security number, bank account details, and Medicare ID number.

AARDY protects your privacy in compliance with HIPAA laws. Also, over 5,000 customers rated us 'Excellent' on the Trustpilot review platform.

Review the Medicare Marketplace Each Year

Even if you love your plan, looking at Medicare plans each year may provide you with a better policy for less money. Since benefits and prices change each year, you do yourself a favor considering all your options.

It's easy to shop around. Just call AARDY. We'll ask you a few questions and help you determine what plan works best for your needs.

Medicare Annual Enrollment Period FAQ

AARDY Medicare Insurance Marketplace helps you find the best Medicare plan for your needs.

When Is the Annual Enrollment Period?

October 15 through December 7 each year.

What Can I Change During the Annual Enrollment Period?

You can change:

  • From Original Medicare (Parts A and B) to Medicare Advantage (Part C)
  • From one Medicare Advantage plan to another
  • To a different Prescription Plan (Part D)

You can add:

  • Prescription Plan (Part D) if you didn't enroll previously

What if I want to change:

  • From Medicare Advantage (Part C) back to Original Medicare (Part A and B)
  • From one Medicare supplement plan to another

You can initiate the change from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period from January 1 to March 31.

On the other hand, you can change between Medicare supplements anytime during the year as long as you're enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. If the plan is guaranteed-issue, it will accept you without any health questions. However, some policies may not offer guaranteed-issue, so you might have to answer medical questions and pay more.

When Does My New Plan Take Effect?

The following January 1.

Can I Keep My Plan If I Like It?

Yes, if the provider continues to offer it. However, it's worth checking to find out if your existing plan had additional benefits in the next year or change prices.

How Is the Annual Enrollment Period Different from the Initial Enrollment Period?

Initial Enrollment Period occurs in the 3 months before and after your 65th birthday. Regardless of the time of year, you can enroll in Medicare.

If you want to make changes to your plan, you must wait for the Annual Enrollment Period in the last quarter of the year or another qualifying event.

How Do I Get Drug Coverage?

If you did not previously enroll in a Part D plan, you may get one during the Annual Enrollment Period. Learn more about How Part D Coverage Works.

What If I Missed the Annual Enrollment Period?

Medicare offers several other enrollment periods. Find out if you qualify to enroll at different times of the year.

How Do I Enroll or Change My Medicare Plan?

Contact a Medicare expert at AARDY, and we will walk you through your options. We make enrollment simple and painless.

Where Can I Buy a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage Plan?

AARDY is the nation's fastest Medicare insurance marketplace. You can compare Medicare supplements and Medicare Advantage plans to find the one that best fits your needs.


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